This is my first blog post under my new moniker – it’s starting to settle right in and feel like I was never anything else. In case it trips you up like it did the first time I read it, it’s pronounced like “lettuce”, but Geddes. Maybe a blog on our wedding day should’ve preceded this one, but if I don’t write when I think to do it, it just…won’t happen. I haven’t written on this bad boy in ten months again. I’m no mathematician, but that’s awful close to a year.
My little buddy is almost 3 now. That fact is hard for me to wrap my head around – I would imagine that goes for any parent watching their kid grow. While my introduction to parenthood was nothing like I pictured it would be, the actual parenting gig is at times spot on and at others, absolutely nowhere near. I’ve done a lot of meeting myself in parallel to the time I spend meeting him, and I know we’re growing together.
Last week we made the transition to Buddy’s new bedroom furniture – to be honest it was one I was dreading as he seemed adamant on keeping his crib. There was no real time constraint for why it had to be this week, but I am determined to let things go when it feels time rather than keep something in place just because I’m not “ready” to let go. It felt time enough, and it turns out it was! Though he seemed very certain he didn’t want new furniture, he was very receptive to walking into his new setup. He still has his changing table and rocking chair, but the crib was replaced with a bed and now he has a bookshelf for all his favorite reads. Rob’s parents gave us the furniture – they’re moving out of their house within a month or so (another tale to tell). I’m so thrilled we could give it new life almost 30 years after they bought it for their little boy.
A big bed in place of the crib opens up room for new possibilities – we’ve been reading books together on his bed now instead of squishing into the rocker. I love him on my lap and marvel at how my head barely fits over top of his now. I know it won’t for too much longer. I was reading “Love You Forever” and got to the part toward the end which is a real tear jerker when you’re an absolute sap like myself. I got through the past few pages through a broken voice (I was sick as well as emotional) and buddy noted the change in my voice and pace. He immediately tried to comfort me, turning around and touching my face saying, “Don’t cry mommy! You’re a big boy”.
This wrecked me much more than the book. I read all the books, listen to all the podcasts, do all the things I can to parent him as wholeheartedly as possible. I don’t see what he said to me as a failing on anyone’s part, but this is the antithesis of what I hope he knows of being a boy, and eventually a man – a full person most of all. I know he was parroting something he’s been told when he cries, and that’s okay. We do what we’ve been taught, and I know whoever’s mouth that fell out of meant only to comfort Gavin.
I hold that and honor that as someone’s experience, and I also don’t want that for Gavin. I was blessed to live in a household with a man who let me see his full humanness – that isn’t the case for everyone. I tried to tell him that big boys cry, and also that crying isn’t negative. These are big concepts for a little guy; they can be big concepts for big people too. Big feelings can be big time inconvenient when they hit, but I want so badly for him to know he is not his reactions, and that his feelings are meant to be felt. I hope he can see his feelings as guideposts for what’s going on in his head and in his heart, but not as either a good or a bad thing. I really believe I can only do this by embodying it myself. The more authentically I live and feel and love and exist and mess up, the more he’ll understand he can (and absolutely will) too. He is a sponge, and I’ve got to be cognizant of what he’s soaking up.
Let’s see what year three brings us.